The Ship We Built by Lexie Bean
English | 2020 | Children/Young Adult | ePUB | 10.9 MB
Sometimes I have trouble filling out tests when the name part feels like a test too. . . . When I write letters, I love that you have to read all of my thoughts and stories before I say any name at all. You have to make it to the very end to know.
Rowan has too many secrets to write down in the pages of a diary. And if he did, he wouldn’t want anyone he knows to discover them. He understands who he is and what he likes, but it’s not safe for others to know. Now, the kids at school say he’s too different to spend time with. He’s not the “right kind” of girl, and he’s not the “right kind” of boy. His mom ignores him. And at night, his dad hurts him in ways he’s not ready to talk about yet.
But Rowan discovers another way to share his secrets: letters. Letters he attaches to balloons and releases into the universe, hoping someone new will read them and understand. But when he befriends a classmate who knows what it’s like to be lonely and scared, even at home, Rowan realizes that there might already be a person he can trust right by his side.
Tender and wise, The Ship We Built is about the bravery it takes to stand up for yourself-even to those you love-and the power of finding someone who treasures you for everything you are.
She turned her head and said “I like your shoes” like she meant it. You should know that my shoes aren’t anything special. They’re just white with green laces. I tried ignoring her, but then she said, “Do you want some of my lemonade?” and she held her red cup closer to me. Don’t judge me, but I decided to reach for it. When I turned around, I noticed that Sofie and I actually had matching scraped knees. You didn’t hear any of this from me, though. Word gets around fast and pretty much everyone who was at that dang slumber party is also in Mr. B’s class with me this year.
Yesterday, on our first day of school, I was just hoping to hide behind my notebooks all day long, make things easier for everybody. But that didn’t work for me at all. Instead, Mr. B gave us our first big lesson. He tried to teach us the important lesson of walking into a room with more confidence. Courtney’s big sister had warned us about this if we got Mr. B for the fifth grade, but it sounded way less scary back when I had my friends. How am I supposed to walk into a room with confidence if nobody wants me there? Do you know what I mean?
It was bad. We all had to stand as straight as we could along the white brick wall, taking turns leaving and coming back to the classroom with our hands on our hips. Mr. B shouted, “EXPAND!” and wrote it in all capital letters in the top corner of the chalkboard that never gets washed away. He then said, “You can become bigger than this room.” How the heck am I supposed to “EXPAND!” when everyone cool now uses bubble-letters and makes themselves into small groups under backyard trampolines? A lot of the other kids in my class crossed their arms and looked nervous to try their walks, but I still think that they all had better walks than I did.
I’m starting to think that people only were ever nice to me because I used to be the new kid at school from White Pine. When I was brand-new, everybody wanted to say hi when I walked into the room. Now I’m just regular, or maybe even less than regular. I could tell Sofie had a hard time with her walk too. We both had to do it three or four times until we could look up from the floor. I hope nobody noticed that she and I have that in common. If people didn’t already think that I’m weird, they are for sure going to think that now, right? Actually, please don’t answer that. I don’t want to know.
I will say that Dylan Beaman walked so confidently in the first round. He moved slow and steady in his Red Wings jersey. His posture was all the way straight and his shoes lit up too. I wish you could have seen it. My old friends sure did talk about him a lot, so I feel pretty lucky that Dylan and my last names are close to each other in the alphabet and so our assigned seats are right next to each other. It made it a little easier not to hide behind my notebook all day long or anything like that.